We’re celebrating the anniversary of our inpatient peer workers this month, who’ve now been working within the Trust for one year.
Peer support workers are people who have lived experience of mental health challenges themselves and use their experiences and empathy while working to peer values to support other people and their families receiving mental health services.
As part of the Trust’s Our Journey to Change campaign, co-creating a great experience for patients, carers and families is one of the three main goals for the organisation.
Trustwide peer lead, Mark Allan said: “Our peer workers add something essential and unique to services. Peer support can have a profound impact on people’s lives due to colleagues bringing their own lived experience expertise into their team. Peer workers can offer advice and take part in many patient activities to help support recovery.
“Out of the inpatient peer workers recruited last year, 14 are still working in their inpatient peer roles, three are waiting to start roles as a senior peer and the others remain working within lived experience roles within the Trust.
“This is a brilliant outcome and we’re really proud of the peer workers and what they are achieving. The passion and commitment they have for this work is amazing and they truly make such a positive difference for the people in our care.”
Let’s hear from some of our peer workers…
To me, being a peer is about being your authentic self and that is enough. Having lived experience and using that experience to build meaningful relationships helps make a difference to people’s lives, to my own life too. The validation you receive when someone knows you really “get it” is so rewarding and really helps to form mutual relationships with people, which is the key to people feeling empowered. When someone is empowered – look out world!”Rachel Milne – inpatient peer worker
One of the things I love most about what we do as peers is being part of someone's journey – to watch them grow and finally get discharged is an amazing feeling. No two days are the same on the ward which is very interesting. I have not lost the passion for what I do, and I think the peer programme is brilliant!Claire Atkins – inpatient peer worker
I could honestly write a book on how peer workers have developed our team at Farnham ward over the past 12 months! I now feel as a peer worker, when taking part in MDT meetings, I have more of a patient voice present – even for those who are unable to communicate themselves.Aimee Simms, ward manager